Peter's Blog

Ahoy There, Singers! Next Virtual Choir

Written by Peter Johnston on .

We decided to ride the wave of sea shanty revival with our next virtual choir song which we are preparing to use on Sunday 21 February. That Sunday the focus is going to be on the end of the Noah story and God's covenant. I've written some new words set to the tune of the sea shanty "Wellerman" and it has been arranged into parts by Kevin Haggart, our Music Director. There are parts for Sopranos, Altos, Tenors, Baritones and Basses. Gentlemen, if you wanted to try a couple of parts (tenor and baritone, for instance) please feel free to submit multiple recordings.

DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSIONS: 8 FEBRUARY 2021. (I will make this video available for other churches to use on Sunday 21 Feb, to enable that I will need to have it all finished in good time ahead of then.)

Choral Instructions

This is a song to have fun with, to enjoy the rhythm and sing relatively freely. Imagine yourself lugging some cypress, pulling a rope, tossing and turning in the storm!

Note that the verses are all written for the tenor part, but we will use different voices for the different verses:
VERSE 1 is for Solo Male (sing if you are confident, I may create a wee group)
VERSE 2 is All Male Voices
VERSE 3 is All Female Voices
VERSE 4 is for Solo Female (again, sing if you are confident, I may use solo or a small group for this)
VERSE 5 is Solo Male

We will sing the harmony for the refrain as per the score each time. For the following verses we change things up a bit with some variation (see score)

VERSE 6 will have Tenors on the melody, with Baritone and Bass parts singning harmony.
VERSE 7 will have Sops, Altos and Tenors on the melody together.
VERSE 8 will have Tenor solo, but with all voices coming in with "let life begin" and "with rainbow sign and seal."

Please listen to the individual guide tracks for your own vocal part a few times to get a feel for that part and what it does. Note that Kevin has made the particular voice louder and given an instrumental guide for each particular track to assist you.

SYNC CLAP: please clap nice and loud on the fourth drum beat to assist with syncing all the audio and video tracks together.


Kevin Haggart, our organist and music director, has created a number of audio files to guide you with each part.

Full Audio Guide Track

A version with all voices for you to listen to is available here. We would recommend you listen to this a few times to get the feel for the anthem.



The musical score is available here.

A single sheet with the lyrics (and designation of verses) which may be easier to use is available here.

Sopranos and Altos

Guide track for Sopranos and Altos can be downloaded here.



Guide track for Tenors can be downloaded here.



Guide track for Baritones can be downloaded here.



Guide track for Basses can be downloaded here.


Technical Instructions

We recommend having a good few practice sing throughs before you film yourself and then when you’re ready to go, you can record yourself by playing the audio track through headphones on a device other than the one you are recording on. This way, the recording will only pick up your lovely singing! (I personally found it easier to only have one headphone in my ear so I could hear myself singing better, but that’s just personal preference!)

Do as many takes as you need – I know I have never once got it right the first time! And remember: even if it sounds a little weird to hear your voice on its own, when everything is edited together it will sound beautiful! You may want to find a spot where you can stand to sing to help your breathing.

A couple of little notes about filming: if possible, try to film somewhere quiet and well-lit (ideally with you facing a window) so that the videos look lovely! Please film landscape instead of portrait – it is so much easier to edit everything together if the videos all have similar proportions. Lastly, please keep recording until the music finishes! This just means that we don’t have some people’s videos cutting out way before others’ and means we’ll have a better finished video.

While we can absolutely have people film on their phones/tablets, recording using Zoom itself results in a much smaller file which is more manageable (both for sending the file and for editing the video together). If you are recording using Zoom on a laptop or desktop computer note that there is a new version with some enhanced features that is just now available so you may want to go back to their website ( and download the client and install it so you have the latest version.

Once you have done this, open up the Zoom programme and on the home page click on the wee gear icon in the top right corner. This takes you to "Settings". Then click on the Audio option on the left column.

  1. Click the "Advanced" button at bottom right of the Settings window and check the box to Show in-meeting option to "Enable Original Sound" from microphone.
  2. Under "Microphone" uncheck the "Automatically Adjust Microphone Volume" option and then sing a bit and look at the "Input Level" line and adjust the slider so that the volume peaks around 2/3rds along the line.
  3. Leave "Suppress Background Noise" on "Auto".
  4. Under "Music and Professional Audio" check the option to "Show in-meeting option to 'Turn on Original Sound'", and the option for "High fidelity music mode", you can keep the other two options unchecked.
  5. When you then go to record your session on Zoom ensure that you have clicked the link at top left hand corner that would say "Turn on original sound" so that it illuminates in blue and says "Turn off original sound" - it is a bit of awkward language, but when it is blue then you are recording the original sound from your microphone.
  6. Ignore all of this if you are using Zoom on a tablet or smartphone as these options are not available!
  7. If you film on Zoom, the files will be saved once you end the meeting and it should save an audio file and a video file – it’s helpful for our editing if you can send us both of those! These are the m4a and mp4 files.

If this is all a bit complicated, don’t worry. It’s fine to just film on your phone/tablet – just be aware the file will be much bigger and might take a while to upload (depending on how good your internet connection is!)

When you have your recording, it would be helpful if you could rename the file with your name and which part you are singing, then you can upload your files directly to me using this dropbox link:


As mentioned earlier it would be really appreciated to have the audio/video submissions in hand by the end of Monday 8 February.

Enjoy yourselves, me hearties!